By: Leon Rodriguez Seyfarth Synopsis: While marijuana possession and use continue to become legal in many U.S. states, either for strictly medicinal purposes or for any purpose at all, it can still be a basis for denial of immigration benefits, such as temporary visas, legal permanent residency, and/or naturalization, or for revocation of existing immigration benefits.  This can even be true where the possession and/or use never resulted in either a criminal charge or conviction.…
On May 21, 2018, I posted a blog regarding the then Proposed USCIS Policy Change for F, J, and M Nonimmigrants and Unlawful Presence implications.  On August 9, 2018, USCIS issued a revised final policy memorandum, effective that day.  USCIS made changes to its proposed policy after considering feedback the agency received during the public comment period mentioned in the prior blog post. Effective August 9, 2018 (last Thursday), F and M nonimmigrants who…
On Aug. 7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report (or Overstay Report). Visa Overstay Reports have been requested by Congress in recent fiscal years as a means to encourage development of a barometric Port of Entry visa checking system and to report on overstays that were identified as problematic in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. The 2017 Overstay Report calculated a…
The Visa Bulletin is released monthly by the Department of State and is used to determine when a sponsored foreign national can submit the final step of the green card process. The complete visa bulletin can be found here. Below is a summary of the September Visa Bulletin, including Final Action Dates and changes from the previous month: China: EB-1 remains stalled at January 1, 2012, EB-2 retrogresses to January 1, 2013, and EB-3…
On August 3, 2018, the US District Judge for District of Columbia, John D. Bates, ruled that the Trump administration must fully restore the DACA program. In the decision, the court stated, “The Court therefore reaffirms its conclusion that DACA’s rescission was unlawful and must be set aside.” In addition, the court also denied the government’s motion to reconsider, stating that “The Court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies—either by providing…
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be an endangered species.  Having terminated TPS for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone during the past year, the Trump Administration has turned its attention elsewhere.  There are currently ten remaining countries whose citizens are eligible for TPS.  Of those, six will be terminated over the next 18 months. The Trump Administration has announced the termination of TPS status for Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Nepal, Honduras and…
The Department of State (DOS) recently released the September 2018 Visa Bulletin. The charts below show movement in employment-based categories. Referring to the Final Action Dates, following are updates from the September Visa Bulletin: EB-1: Mainland China and India had no movement, with a cutoff date of Jan. 1, 2012, while El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam all moved forward a month, from May 1, 2016, to June 1, 2016. EB-2: The cutoff date for worldwide chargeability,…
ICE workplace audits are on the rise.  And if you didn’t know, the federal government and California are not harmonious in their views on immigration issues. That means that ICE raids on California employers are likely to continue, especially in target industries such as hospitality, construction, agriculture, tech, and manufacturing. And if you want to minimize your company’s exposure to massive fines and possible criminal prosecution, this issue should be on your radar. One of the…
The National Law Journal selected the 2018 Trailblazers in Immigration. This year, Greenberg Traurig Immigration & Compliance attorneys Laura Reiff and Kate Kalmykov were recognized on the list for their notable achievements in the practice of law. Kalmykov leads the immigration practice group in the firm’s New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia offices.  She has more than 12 years of experience in managing large-scale EB-5 offerings and business immigration clients that include architectural firms, technology,…